The Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox open up a three-game series featuring AL East rivals at Fenway Park Monday afternoon
Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox
Toronto broke a three-game losing streak and avoided being swept by picking up a 7-4 home win Sunday over Philadelphia. The Blue Jays reverted back to its offense of a year ago, relying on the home run, hitting three in a single inning to take control of the contest. “When you hit three in an inning, sure, that brings back a lot of visions of what they did a year ago,” said Blue Jays manager John Farrell. “It’s what we’ve done a very good job of this year.” Outfielder Jose Bautista once again led the power charge, knocking his 27th round tripper of the season, on the same day he was named a starter in the All-Star Game. Toronto is still a disappointing 11-23 in day games this year.
Blue Jays starting pitcher Brandon Morrow is an even 4-4 with a 4.56 ERA in 13 starts this season and is looking to win his third straight contest. The right-hander comes off a strong performance in tallying a 2-1 home win over the Pirates, giving up just a single run and four hits over seven innings, while also striking out a season-high 10 batters. Morrow brings in a perfect 3-0 record and 2.19 ERA in six road outings, surrendering just two home runs in 37 frames. In 12 career appearances (four starts) versus the Red Sox, he has compiled a winless 0-2 mark and 9.00 ERA.
Boston has won four straight games and has recorded a Major League-best 49-28 record since picking up its first win on April 8. The Red Sox lead baseball with a .274 average and rank second by scoring 5.23 runs per game. Returning home after a 5-4 road trip should have the team energized in playing the final week before the All-Star break. “It’s tough to sweep a series on the road or at home for that matter,” said Red Sox starter Josh Beckett about the club’s three-game sweep over the Astros. “It ended up working out good.” Boston has thrived in day games this season, posting a 19-7 mark.
Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey is 5-7 with a 6.81 ERA in 12 starts this season and lost a 2-1 road contest to the Phillies last time out. In that particular game, the right-hander allowed two runs on eight hits in 7 2/3 innings. He has tallied four of his five wins during the day despite bringing in a 7.31 daytime ERA. In 17 career starts versus the Blue Jays, Lackey has a losing 5-6 mark and 5.12 ERA, including a 16-4 road win against them on June 11.
Bettors will likely back the Red Sox due to their 15-7 record in Lackey’s home starts, while the Blue Jays are 0-5 in their last five games versus right-handed starters